In Connecticut, “accelerated rehabilitation” is a diversion program that allows people charged with less serious crimes to avoid convictions by completing specific court requirements such as completion of rehabilitation programs.
A person needs to apply for the Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation Program (AR). A prosecutor may even recommend it, but acceptance is not automatic. You need to make sure that you have an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney who can work to get your application for AR approved.
What Are Accelerated Rehab/Diversion Programs?
As the Judicial Branch of the State of Connecticut notes, the court determines the conditions of AR. Common conditions include:
- Community service
- Paying restitution
- Participating in a hate crimes diversion program
- Psychiatric or psychological counseling
- Alcohol and/or drug treatment
When a person agrees to AR, they also agree to have the statute of limitations tolled on their underlying criminal offense, which allows the state to still prosecute the crime if the person does not successfully finish the program.
The Court Support Services Division (CSSD) is responsible for conducting investigations before defendants are accepted into AR. It also supervises the person for two years to ensure court orders are being followed.
How Do I Get Into and AR/Diversion Program?
You must apply for AR, and if there were victims in your alleged crime, they must be notified of your application. Under Connecticut General Statute § 54-56e(b), the court can invoke an accelerated rehabilitation program on the motion of the defendant, a state's attorney, or prosecuting attorney if:
- The court believes you likely will not offend in the future.
- You have no prior criminal convictions.
- You have not previously participated in AR.
You will be ineligible for AR if:
- You are charged with a Class A felony.
- You are charged with a Class B felony, except for certain first-degree larceny crimes not involving physical force or threatened force against someone else.
- You are charged with specific DWI-related crimes, like DWI with a child passenger or DWI while driving a school bus.
- You are charged with specific assault or manslaughter with a motor vehicle crimes.
- You are charged with specific sex crimes.
- You are charged with use, possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia or illegal possession.
AR is also not available if you are charged with a family violence crime and are eligible for the pretrial family violence education program or have previously had the pretrial family violence education program.
How Erin Field Can Help You Get into an AR/DP
As an experienced Connecticut criminal defense lawyer, I can help you complete your initial AR application and ensure that it is free from any of the many common errors that could trigger an automatic denial. I can also help you prepare for the background check the court will perform.
Most importantly, I can argue on your behalf as to why you should be eligible for accelerated rehabilitation. If you are facing a criminal charge for the first time in Connecticut, make sure to contact me, Erin Field by phone or reach out to me online to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your eligibility for accelerated rehabilitation or other diversion programs.